Set in Mississippi’s Black Prairie, this Hanse-designed course is a true bucket-list destination
WEST POINT, Miss. (May 27, 2019) – Nature’s Golf – a truly memorable, world-class experience designed to bring golfers closer to nature. Mossy Oak Golf Club in here in northern Mississippi is the result of a course working in harmony with its natural surroundings. Not only is this incredible layout a work that is quite beholding to the eyes, it’s a delight to all of those who accept the challenge to play it.
Mossy Oak sits on what once was an old dairy farm for about 100 years; complete with two cow ponds and a number of hills, which explains the elevation changes. Those two cow ponds are now stocked with Tiger bass – something else to do if the golf thing isn’t working out for you.
Mossy Oak Golf Club sits across the street from its sister course, Old Waverly, one of the classiest clubs in the South you can play. Old Waverly is a private club but allows outside play for lodge guests. Accommodations at the clubs create what is arguably the best golf experience in Mississippi.
Located on the Mossy Oak property is the official practice facility of the Mississippi State University men’s and women’s golf teams. The facility is separate from Mossy Oak Golf Club and includes five target greens on the range, short-game training areas with bunkers and a 16,000-square foot putting green cut in the shape of the State of Mississippi.
Inside the 6,400-square foot MSU team clubhouse, you’ll find men’s and women’s locker rooms, players’ lounges, coaches’ offices, an indoor putting center complete with a SAM PuttLab training system, as well as exercise and conference rooms. There’s also 2,400 square feet of indoor hitting bays equipped with two Trackman swing and ball flight analysis systems.
The Bryan family partnered with Toxey Haas, founder and CEO of the outdoor lifestyle brand Mossy Oak to create the golf club. To design the course, the two hired Gil Hanse, the world’s leading minimalist golf course architect and mastermind behind the 2016 Olympic Course in Rio de Janeiro.
In true minimalist fashion, Hanse didn’t move much dirt in creating Mossy Oak; the truth is, he didn’t need to. In fact the majority of the dirt that was moved was done so to create a 7 1/2-acre irrigation lake. All of the bunkers you encounter as you make your way around the layout use sand that was taken from local riverbeds. One look at the bunker that fronts the fourth green, and you’ll realize that filling these bunkers took a lot of work.
Hanse has done a phenomenal job of creating a world-class golf experience at Mossy Oak. He has created a course that showcases the local Mississippi Black Prairie surroundings and follows the natural contours of the rolling terrain, all the while preserving the local habitat.
A lot of the water used in irrigating Mossy Oak is reclaimed through gravity. Native areas are outside the scope of maintenance and are not irrigated and the fertilizers used are all organic, slow-release. The club is committed to not overwatering.
Depending on your game, Mossy Oak can play anywhere between 7,212 and 5,530 yards; ladies will have an enjoyable round from the Red Tees at 5,089 yards. Choose the yardage that best fists you game, and you’re sure to enjoy yourself.
Memorable holes abound
Hanse’s bunkers take center stage on the par 3, fourth hole. From the blue tees the hole plays 173 yards; slightly longer when you factor in the fact that it’s uphill. The green is large and features a lot of slope and undulation. The front left bunker sits about eight feet below the putting surface making up and down that much tougher. As you look around from the fourth tee box, you get a great panoramic few of the course.
Many players will find favor with the par 4, 10th hole. Although the scorecards states 282 yards from the Blue Tees, it plays closer to 250 yards, making it a true risk/reward opportunity for many golfers. Carry the trees on the right if you want to have a chance of making the green off the tee. You’ll find after playing the hole a few times that the necessary line off the tee is a lot further left than you think. And don’t be fooled by the false front on the green. Better yet, hit something less than driver off the tee, leave a makeable chip shot and walk away with birdie.
Water is a lot more prevalent on the back nine and comes into play on no less than five holes. Two water holes immediately come to mind; the monster par 3, 11thand the demanding 18th.
From the Blue tees, No. 11 plays at 224 yards, most of which is carry over a lake. However there is a bailout area short and left. There’s a lot of undulation in the green, and the three bunkers left of the green see a lot of play. Walk away with a par (or better) and consider it a success.
Of the two lakes on No. 18, the first one really shouldn’t come into play; it’s less than a 150-yard carry from the Blue Tees. If possible, play down the right side of the fairway to have the best look into the green. Should you leave yourself a shot at the green, you’ll have about 160 yards to a long, angled green protected on the left by a lake and a bunker. The putting surface slopes back to front, so leave yourself below the hole if possible.
Mossy Oak is a course you will never get tired of playing. The round here is best experienced by walking the course with a caddie; forecaddies are required if you choose to take a cart. Trust me, caddies are well worth the investment at Mossy Oak.
Although many of the tee shots at Mossy Oak are played to wide open fairways, don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security. You still need to be in the proper position in the fairway in order to hit and hold the green. You’ll face a number of blind shots both off the tee and on your approach and several false fronted greens can leave you scratching your head.
But what sets Mossy Oak apart from other Mississippi golf courses are the green complexes. The majority of greens are elevated; several require knowledge of where to hit it on the green in order to not have it roll off and past you. All greens putt true and fast with subtle undulations.
Mossy Oak is not exactly a course that you are going to stumble across by accident. The best way to attract golfers to a destination that is off the beaten path is to offer the best golf opportunities money can buy. Old Waverly and Mossy Oak do just that, and although the golf courses are completely opposite in style and feel, they complement each other to no end. This could very well be the answer to putting West Point, MS on the map as a golf destination.
Lodging is now available on property at Mossy Oak. These brand new, luxurious cottages are located on the tenth fairway and offer spectacular panoramic views of the golf course. Each cottage has a spacious common area with a giant flat screen TV, mini fridge, microwave, wet bar area, coffee station and complimentary wireless Internet.
Off of the common area are four separately keyed bedrooms, each with two queen beds. Guests have the option of renting either the entire cottage or individual bedrooms. Lodging is also available at Old Waverly. More cottages and a permanent clubhouse are part of the long-range plan at Mossy Oak, in fact construction of the clubhouse has already begun.
Old Waverly and Mossy Oak Golf Club are set in the tranquil Mississippi Black Prairie and are staffed with some of the nicest people you will ever meet, anywhere.